Giving and receiving gift
Giving and receiving gift

By Molly Butler

You must know the feeling. Maybe it was a compliment, or attention, or even a literal gift wrapped with a bow. It was for you, and when you received it, the first thought in your head was, “I don’t deserve this.”

My fiancé called me The Qualifier. Every “You did good,” was met with my amendments. “Oh, it wasn’t that hard.”  “Anyone could do it.” “I had a lot of help.” I wouldn’t even notice I was doing it.

Of course, this is exhausting for the giver. It’s like someone handing me a flower and me throwing it away because it’s too pretty. It’s disrespectful, not just to them, but to me. I was robbing myself. I let inadequacy and guilt exist where there should be pride and joy. Learning to just say, “thank you,” was and is surprisingly difficult, but it’s just as important as giving.

We’re in the season of giving. It usually feels good to get gifts for your loved ones or pay for the meal behind you in the drive-thru, or donate to charity, or tell someone, “You’re talented! You did a great job!” Receiving does not always come so naturally. It can feel uncomfortable or embarrassing. But feeling undeserving is not the same as being undeserving.

I let inadequacy and guilt exist where there should be pride and joy. Learning to just say, ‘thank you,’ was and is surprisingly difficult, but it’s just as important as giving.

If you sometimes struggle with receiving, this is your reminder to be as gracious in receiving as you are generous in giving. Every giver needs a receiver. This weekend, practice both. Give and receive.


Is a good gingerbread house more about the baking or the architecture? I guess we will see! The North Mankato Taylor Library is having a virtual Gingerbread House Competition. Decorate your house and upload a picture to their Facebook page by December 18th. This competition is open to all ages. Winners will be announced on the 21st of December.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Reports from the North Pole say Santa will be in Henderson this weekend! Starting at 5pm you can spot Santa getting a ride from the Henderson Fire and Rescue Firetruck. The route is posted on their Facebook page.  Then, from 6-8:30 pm, Santa will be at the Storage Lounge on Premier Drive in Mankato. This drive-thru event will have dazzling lights and opportunities to donate to Toys for Tots. Bring your pet along and they’ll receive a gift curtesy of The Paw.


Prepare to be amazed! Robert the Magician and Lynn Marie will be performing a Comedy Magic Show for the New Ulm Public Library. This virtual show will be available online from December 12-26. Tune in here to catch the show.

Holiday shopping on your to-do list? Swing by the Circle Inn from noon to 3pm. Local makers and vendors will be selling their handmade goods in the Circle’s heated tents and their backroom will also be open for shopping. The Circle has come up with some really creative ways to serve the community throughout the pandemic, so make sure you check them out! Join their event page for more details.

I’m sure a lot of you are like me; a little stir-crazy and already planning road trips and adventures to go on when travel is safe. Get tickets here for the virtual tour of Minnesota State Parks presented by DNR Naturalist, Scott Kudelka, and the Living Earth Center. This class will allow you to enjoy Minnesota’s 75 state parks from your home and start planning your future adventures.


Santa’s reindeer will be in town! Come see them at C&S Supply on Riverfront Drive in Mankato from 11am to 3pm. Then, as we approach Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra will put on Beethoven C Minor Trio, featuring Artistic Director and cellist, Richard Belcher, violinist, Peter McGuire, and pianist, Bethel Balge. This virtual concert will air on Mankato Symphony Orchestra Homepage as well as Facebook and YouTube. The show begins at 4:15pm.

Give yourself a gift and remember to say, ‘thank you!’

 Bonus: Give Yourself a Gift

If you’re practicing being more receptive to gifts, you can start by being more generous with yourself. It could be something small, like pausing to enjoy the view, or something as big as a life-changing goal and plans to achieve it. For me, I recently started drinking more water and setting aside time for hobbies.

Think about what you want that no one else can give you. Firm and healthy boundaries. A good night of sleep. Physical fitness. A comfortable and tidy workspace. A self-help book to understand yourself more deeply. Forgiveness. Even that seemingly frivolous item you want but, for some reason, don’t think you deserve. Give yourself a gift and remember to say, “thank you!”


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.